In the near future, global e-commerce sales are expected to surpass $27 trillion. And this is good news for businesses of all kinds, as long as they have the right infrastructure to handle the increased load while still giving users the perfect experience. So while your current eCommerce platform may have served your business acceptably till now, you may want to switch to a solution that will do so in future. But how do you know when you’ve outgrown your e-commerce platform?
Slow Load Times
A platform that isn’t speedy enough will badly hurt your conversion rates. While lag was previously caused by slow dial-up connections, users now expect pages to load within a few seconds at most, given that high-speed internet is now relatively affordable. As a result, all but the most patient of your site’s visitors will be guaranteed to leave if load times exceed 3 seconds. So when your site starts slowing down, it’s definitely calling for an upgrade.
Escalating Development Costs
The best eCommerce platform is one that adopts a proactive approach towards implementing upcoming developments. Ideally, you should be able to take advantage of new technologies as soon as they become available. And once your store is set up, the amounts you spend on development should gradually decrease. Eventually, maintenance and minor bug fixes should make up the large part of the costs you incur.
So what if you’re currently pumping money into your eCommerce platform just to keep it running? Well, the hard truth is that you’re wasting your money. In this digital era, there’s more potential for your platform than ever before. Ditching your legacy solution for a more modern setup will not only eliminate the need for plug-ins but also eliminate the need to spend colossal sums on maintenance.
No More Room for Growth
As your business grows, it naturally expands into new markets and niches. But if your e-commerce platform doesn’t expand to match this growth, you’ll eventually reach a point where keeping up with your customers’ demands will become a nightmare. A common indicator of this kind of problem is when software has to be integrated into the platform on an ongoing basis to match traffic on the other side. Remedying the issue requires a scalable setup that provides the functionality your business needs now, but still allows the addition of extra features along the way. And this needs to be done without having to call tech support for each integration.
Endless Management Headaches
Your firm’s back-end staff are just as crucial as the rest of your team. If your developers are having trouble keeping your platform running because things are constantly breaking, then it’s time to move on. A good platform should be designed with system users in mind, as opposed to preventing them from extracting its fullest potential. Switching to a system that amalgamates all activities will eliminate unnecessary stress, which will, in turn, improve the efficiency of your support department.
Now that you know what it is like to outgrow your e-commerce solution, finding one that suits your long-term goals shouldn’t be difficult. Overall, there are a few crucial features you might want for your next platform:
-Fraud screening: Although most payment service providers offer this service, stand-alone mechanisms can further reinforce your checkout process.
-Multi-device support: Smartphones and tablets now account for the larger percentage of e-commerce traffic. Your platform needs to accommodate devices of all kinds, and there are various approaches you could use, from having several different versions of your site to embracing responsive design. Whatever you opt for, mobile compatibility should be your top priority.
-Order management: Having a platform that can pick, pack and dispatch orders no longer cuts it. Depending on your fulfillment needs, you will require a dedicated order management system to bridge your e-commerce platform with your warehouse management system.
-Web analytics: This is crucial in capturing and analyzing the on-site behavior of your audience.
Harsh as it sounds, the e-commerce platform you previously relied on may no longer be the best one for you. Don’t let the fear of costs keep you from bettering your business. There are plenty of resources for merchants to facilitate migration across eCommerce platforms. Ultimately, it would be advisable taking the time to consider how various deployment options will suit your company’s needs.